America’s Ruling Troika
by Nelson Hultberg | AFR.orgNelson Hultberg is the author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values.
Who rules America today? Not the people; they have been vanquished. America is ruled today by a collectivist Troika – an Executive-Congressional Combine, Judicial Oligarchs, and a Corporatist Banking Cartel – who have as much concern for the resplendent principles that formed our country as street pimps have for romance and love. How has this Troika come to possess its power over our lives? It has accrued its power by conveying endless privileges (handouts, subsidies, loans, quotas, monopolies, price controls, tax breaks, etc.) to an ever-swelling mobocracy. This buys the mobocracy’s support every election year and insures the Troika’s permanency.
Who comprises the mobocracy? Sixty million Americans looking to get more out of life than they have a right to: government bureaucrats, corporate quislings, welfare parasites, media lackeys, union members, Black and Latino minorities, feminists, gays, environmentalists, Hollywood decadents, illegal aliens, unemployable misfits, and hordes of other obtuse voters.
Is this being unfair to Blacks, Latinos, gays, and feminists? To union workers and welfare recipients? Not at all. These groups demand and receive from the federal government quotas, monopolistic protections, hiring dictates, and subsidies to advance themselves in the marketplace. This violates their fellow citizens’ rights to free association, to free trade, and to their property. Such conveyance of “special privileges” is the reason why we are now $110 trillion in debt, why lobbyists annually converge upon Washington like weevils to the gristmill, and why Americans have voted a blatant Marxist radical into the highest office of the land.
All of these demands are unjustified. No one has the right to mandate by law that others like, accept, and associate with them. No one has the right to monopolize his labor organization by government dictates. No one has the right to coerce subsidies from the earnings of others. Yet this is what is taking place pervasively throughout our country. Lobbyists to Congress and dictates from the Supreme Court are now the means to advance our lives. No longer do we depend upon self-reliance and persuasion to climb the ladders of success.
The Troika’s bureaucracies now overwhelm our society. Oppressive taxes stultify our teen to twilight years. The gangrene of corruption eats away at the once honorable pillars of society. Catastrophic entitlement bankruptcy looms over the horizon. And with each passing decade, drab and Machiavellian mandarins extend their tentacles ever further into our lives, our businesses, our finances, our religions, schools, charities, medical choices, child rearing, and leisure time. Yet despite such insufferable intrusiveness from the Troika, our establishment pundits remain impervious to the gross immorality and ultimate ramifications of it all.
We are told by prominent foundation scholars that our nation is experiencing only a temporary bump in the road, that we are still headed toward an "unlimited future of economic prosperity and social justice in a New World Order of triumphant American hegemony.” We are informed by Democratic savants in face of populist unrest in the heartland that "Americans don't want less government, only more efficient government," and by Republican sycophants that "a spirit of bipartisanship rather than radical reduction of government is needed."
Mixed Economy Is the Problem
Such are the illusions of today’s smarmy Demopublicans and slick political operatives, so ensconced in their Beltway celebrity, so jaded with their egalitarian sophistries that they are incapable of seeing the most obvious facts of economic and historical reality. Such intellects as these have lived in (or catered to) Alice's Washington Wonderland for so long and have become so emotionally committed over the years to its siren call of collectivism, that it now becomes impossible to opt out and face up to the destructive perversions of their Great Society, even as its socio-economic structure crumbles all around them.
The paramount question, now that the Great Planned Society has so obnoxiously failed, is what can be done? One hopeful sign: a growing band of libertarians, conservatives, and patriots from across the spectrum has grasped the seriousness of this past century’s horrific prodigality.
Will this awakening be in time, however? Americans are still confused politically and economically. They are still of the Roosevelt-Keynesian belief that we need to pursue a mixed economyof half-capitalism and half-socialism – eschewing political decentralization and free-market economics. In other words, continue accommodating American ideals with collectivist programs, only elect some new politicians who will make such an immoral and irrational system work.
On the contrary, such an approach to politics will change nothing. It is not the "politicians" we have elected, but the "ideological policies" we have adopted that have taken us to the despotic state of affairs that now plague our lives.
Such an insight is quite clear to those who understand that "ideas have consequences" in the evolution of social and political institutions. The problem is that such a truth is not being imparted to the intelligent youth of America. Consequently they go out into the world unwarned about the sophistry and demagoguery awaiting them from political men of zeal in search of votes.
Lessons for the Young
Our youth need to be told that there are natural laws at work in the universe, and if one’s political ideology is in contradiction to those natural laws, no amount of personnel changes will make it work. They need to be told that our welfare state ideology – structured upon progressive taxation, monetary inflation, and congressional conveyance of priviliges – is in contradiction to those laws. It is this ideology that must also be eliminated from Washington, not just the politicians who attempt to implement its odious contradictions.
Our youth need to be told that it is naive and superficial to get all caught up in the surface aberrations of political bribes and sleaze factors that so impress the media pundits – as if dramatic disclosures of the participants in scandals and graft are heroic salvations for the Republic. They need to be told that such grubby episodes are nothing but symptoms of a much deeper ailment; and that ailment is the disastrous premise of liberalism that says government can erect a Great Society by conveying privileges to the mobocracy instead protecting the rights of the people.
Our youth need to be told that no matter which political party is in power, as long as the government is allowed to dispense special privileges and subsidies to select groups of voters in order to gain their support at election time, an endless array of corruption and graft is guaranteed. They need to be told that this is the nature of any system that allows its politicians the power to redistribute income in order to gratify needs and desires so as to buy votes. They need to be told that such a system is manifestly unjust, and that the mendacious humbugs who converge upon Washington every four years to wheel and deal in its labyrinthine networks of favors and controls are nothing but range-of-the-moment animals, who will always be driven by consuming lusts for the status and wealth that accompany their prestigious positions in Washington. Our youth need to be told that this is the irremediable nature of man and the inevitable plight of any society that attempts to establish a government of "favors arbitrarily conveyed" rather than "laws objectively applied."
The Deeper Disease
As long as those in positions of intellectual responsibility (in the media, the universities, and the business community) continue to evade these facts and these necessities, America will continue to degenerate as a country. It is the responsibility of all “thinking men and women” to be able to carry the cause and effect relationships of life back to root causes and not get caught up in meaningless superficialities – and then to explain such root causes to the youth of our country.
Rising prices, recessions, massive debt, educational decline, political corruption, punitive taxes, and the explosion of government intervention that we are suffering from today are all merely "effects" of a much deeper disease, and as such cannot be solved until that deeper disease is identified and eliminated. That disease is the collectivist-liberal ideology that has politically dominated this country since 1932, and philosophically dominated her since the turn of the century.
It is this disease that we have injected into the minds of our youth for 100 years. We have taught them that large factions of voters can have government services for free through progressive taxation – yet not ignite “infinite demand” for government growth. We have taught them that they can increase the nation’s wealth by printing trillions of paper dollars – yet not incur ever-higher prices and a chaotic boom-bust economy. We have taught them that they can create a morally relativist society in which do-your-own-thing lifestyles replace the rights and wrongs of natural law – yet not incur debility and degradation. Such a philosophy has been instilled into our young people as "humanitarian," "progressive," "sophisticated," "cognizant of new world conditions" – when it is, in essence, nothing but a heedless effort to suspend the fundamental laws of existence.
The reversal of this nefarious drift will not come easily. As a pundit of an earlier age, Walter Lippmann, wisely observed: "What is left of our civilization will not be maintained, what has been wrecked will not be restored, by imagining that some new political gadget can be invented, some new political formula improvised which will save it. Our civilization can be maintained and restored only by remembering and rediscovering the truths, and by re-establishing the habits on which it was founded."
The lesson to be gleaned from this past century is clear and stark: we as a people must renounce the inexcuseable prodigality of liberalism and its ruling Troika. This will require that we retrace the philosophical steps that built America and throw out all our manifold treasons to the Founders. There can be no half-way measures. America will live again in the future only if we are willing to restore the Jeffersonian ideal that gave us birth. Lincoln’s centralization – Wilson’s progressivism – FDR’s New Deal – LBJ’s Great Society – Nixon’s middling conservatism – today’s Obamanation must all be purged from our governing aspirations. Nothing short of the Jeffersonian ideal will save us. Our youth need to be taught this crucial philosophical necessity.
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, TX and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic www.afr.org. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Dallas Morning News, The American Conservative, Insight, The Freeman, andLiberty, as well as on numerous Internet sites. He is the author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Email him at: email@example.com